Apicoectomy. Say What?
Say that again?!
An apicoetomy or “ey-pi-koh-ek-tuh-mee” (say that three times fast!) may be needed when an infection develops or won’t go away after your root canal treatment or retreatment.
Your teeth are held in place by roots that extend into your jawbone. They can have anywhere from one to four roots. The tip of these roots is called the apex. Nerves and blood vessels enter the tooth though this apex. They travel through a canal inside the root and into the pulp chamber, which is inside the “crown” of your tooth.
During root canal treatment, we clean the canals and the infected tissue is removed.
Root canals can be very complex, as there are several branches off the main canals. Sometimes, even after a root canal, infected tissue can remain in these branches. This could possibly prevent healing or cause re-infection.
An apicoectomy is only considered after a tooth has had at least one root canal procedure and retreatment is not possible. Sometimes it is called endodontic microsurgery because it is often performed under a microscope. The light and magnification allow the endodontist to see the area clearly. This increases the chance that the procedure will succeed.
In an apicoectomy, the root tip or apex is removed along with the infected tissue. A filling is then placed to seal the end of the root tip and a few stitches are placed in the gum to help the tissue heal. After a few weeks the bone heals around the end of the root.
An apicoectomy is typically a safe and effective procedure, and is rarely recommended unless further root canal treatment won’t be effective. The goal is to help you preserve your natural teeth for as long as possible. Apicoectomies are generally a permanent and cost-effective solution which can help your teeth last for the rest of your life!
If you’re having pain or swelling from a tooth that has had a root canal treatment, don’t hesitate! Give Metro Endodontics a call today!